The picturesque port of Geiranger, Norway!
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Geiranger, Norway!

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Exploring southwestern Norway until July 26th.

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Now this is a castle!

We love visiting castles, and there are a lot of castles in Europe. And they range from castle ruins that are free to visit to spectacular opulent fully furnished castles that are very expensive to visit. You can even overnight in some castles that have been turned into hotels.

Yesterday was a rain day, so we took the opportunity to visit Bojnice Castle, located in the village of Bojnice, Slovakia near the Czechia border.

As I said, we woke up to rain. We had overnighted in a small parking lot next to the fairly uninspiring Vigras Castle which has been transformed into the Grand Vigras Hotel.

Max, at GPS 48.554842, 19.299891

We took the backroads again, which is always a bit of a risk because you never know what conditions are going to be like. But we got lucky this time, and although the road was fairly narrow at times, there was no traffic and it was freshly paved!

Scenery along the way.

Heading through a small village.

Freshly paved road!

Castle ruins.

Normally when we see a castle like this, we would have stopped and hiked up there. We love exploring these types of things. But, it wasn't the nicest day so we carried on.

More scenery.

Made it to the town of Bojnice, and it was easy to see the castle not far away. I had read that parking at the castle is €10, so we found a free spot about 1.5 kms walking distance.

Walking through the village of Bojnice towards the castle.

The rain stopped... for now!
We had our umbrellas with us though.

Now this is a castle!

Only one problem...

Groups of schoolchildren!

But we figured it's a big castle, so we should be able to avoid the kids. 

And it really wasn't very busy although I expect it would be on the weekends.

Cost for one adult was €11 ($15 CAD, $11.50 USD). Not bad, considering it is one of the best castles in Slovakia. A similar castle in Germany will be more money.

The moat has been turned into a walking path at this section.

There has been a castle standing at this point since the 13th century, however the original one was made of wood. Then a smaller stone castle was built in the 14th century and it was added to and renovated several times over hundreds of years. Always owned and inhabited by aristocrats. The last major renovation which was done between 1889 and 1910 took 22 years to complete. 

A model of the current castle.

The Grand Hall.

Many rooms have a furnace like this one for heat.

The furniture in the castle dates between the 16th and 19th century.

The globe on the right was made in London in 1800.

The clock on the left dates to the 17th century.

The Oriental Room. 

The Oriental room is different! The walls which were carved out of cedar were paneled and gilded, in the 17th century. The surface consists of 99 calligraphic scriptures praising Allah. The vases
come from China and Japan. 

Close up of the painted cedar paneling.

Two large golden gilded beds with opulent carvings.

All of the ceilings are different.
This one is the ceiling of angels in the Golden Room.

Zoomed in on one of the angels.

The famous golden room.

Its ceiling is cut from pine wood and decorated with gold leaf. 183 angel faces look down on us from the ceiling, each one has a different expression. In the middle of the ceiling there is a medallion with an angel depicting the aristocratic Pálffy crest with a deer and a broken wheel. The inscription on the ribbon around the medallion means in translation: "everything at its time." The two large paintings on the wall between the windows are the works of Václav Božík. On the opposite side there are paintings
from the 17th century. The table dates back to around 1850 and is decorated with inlay. 

Nowadays weddings take place here.

One of the courtyards.

From there, it was down to the tombs...

The elaborately carved marble tomb of Johann Pálffy.

The last aristocratic owner of the castle was Johann Pálffy who died a bachelor in 1908. In his will he expressed his wish that Bojnice Castle was to be opened to the public after his death. Relatives fought about that decision, and it was eventually sold to the Czechoslovakian Bata Shoe Company. After WWII it was expropriated and owned by the state. Since 1950, the castle has belonged to the Slovak National Museum.

The well.

The blue room.

Another bedroom.

Kitchen preparation.

In the preparation room, the food was transported by a mechanical elevator, which was located behind the closed door. The kitchen was on the ground floor. The dishes and jugs were made in Germany in 1900.

The marble hall.

The table comes from Japan and is decorated with pearls. The chairs belonged to the Count. The Venetian glass chandelier dates back to the 17th century. The frescoes were painted by Francesco Desilvestri.

These three armchairs are the oldest pieces of furniture in the castle.
They were made in the late 1500's.

Wood carving wall separating two rooms.

Views from the castle.

The crest room.

Ceiling of the crest room.

This modern flush toilet was installed in the late 1800's.

The Knights Room.
Ruth, with a 15th century suit of armour.

Another view.

Rain spouts.

We got outside, and it was raining. 

The balcony.

Bojnice Castle in the rain!

Bojnice Castle.

Apparently you can overnight in the parking lot. But, you have to arrive after 8pm and depart before 8am. We decided to drive a little further and find a more suitable spot.

We found a beautiful free spot overlooking this lake.
This is the view just outside Max's door at GPS 48.80476, 18.48065

Up early this morning, and headed into Czechia.

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  1. It is nice visiting beautiful Castles but as you said they can be expensive.
    Safe Travels and Enjoy the Adventures.

    It's about time.

    1. We try to weigh the odds on whether a castle is worth the admission price or not before deciding to visit. It definitely would be expensive visiting all the castles we see along our travels and we would also end up getting "castled out"!

  2. My daughter is in Austria now, next Germany then Czechia. On Business. But she loves visiting Castles. Bet she takes some time to do just that. I am now having trip envy.

    1. It is nice that she gets to visit these places on business providing of course that we has some free time to get out and explore a bit. She certainly won't have a problem finding enough castles to visit! I hope that she brings back lots of pictures of her travels for you to see.

  3. Lots of interesting features in that castle.

    1. They certainly were! It is nice that they have tried to keep the castle as original as possible at least from the time that pictures were taken so long ago. They had pictures of some of the rooms and what they looked like but we can't remember what the time frame was.

  4. You guys are very far from Turkie. looked at your gps by the lake. Did not realize that you traveled so far...all while war is right around the corner

    1. Yes, we certainly are! We were just looking at the map the other day to see the distance that we have covered over the last month. We knew that this month was going to cover a lot of miles in order to get to the ferry port in Denmark for our crossing to Norway on the 1st of June. We are certainly traveling a little faster than normal but we are still taking a bit of time to see stuff along the way.


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